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Research group/lab

Group Dinjens

Moleculair research

About our research group/lab

Our research

Normal and abnormal development of the foregut

The foregut includes several important organs and structures, including the respiratory tract and the proximal part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the midpart of the duodenum. It includes the thyroid, the lungs, as well as the pancreas. Congenital abnormalities of these organs may lead to severe morbidity and mortality. Especially pulmonary congenital malformations, such as lung hypoplasia, caused by congenital diaphragmatic hernia, renal abnormalities, or oligohydramnios, may have severe sequelae.

One line of research is concentrated around the normal and abnormal development of the lung and focusses on both epithelial as well as vascular development of the mouse and human lung. The aim of this work is to detect differences in growth and differentiation between normal and abnormal lungs. Normal lung development is compared with abnormal development in the context of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary hypoplasia due to other causes, and pulmonary hypertension. This research work is performed in collaboration with the Dept. of Pediatric Surgery, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam.

Another line of research studies the development of the endocrine pancreas, during human development. This is done in the context of the development of the immune system. It is hypothesized that the interaction between certain components of the immune system, i.e. monocytes, and the epithelial cells of the pancreas, bears important implications for future disease, most notable type-1 diabetes mellitus, in which the islet b-cells are selectively destroyed. This research work is performed in collaboration with the Dept. of Immunology, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Key Publications

Our team